Huawei has just announced a new app, an app whose aim is to help deaf children enjoy books, basically. The name of this new app is “StorySign”, and it leverages AI in order to help deaf kids and their parents learn to read together. Huawei says that there are approximately 32 million deaf children in the world, and many of them have issues reading, learning to read, which is where StorySign comes in. Huawei announced that a popular children’s book called “Where’s Spot?” will be included in the app from the get-go, and it is, and the app features a “friendly avatar”, as the company calls it, an avatar that is named “Star”, who is supposed to help entertain kids along the way. Huawei says that it worked with “experts and charities from the deaf community” in order to develop this app, and adapt it to deaf kids and their families. StorySign is optimized for Huawei AI, it features Image Recognition and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) in order to create a viable reading experience.
The Image Recognition is here to allow kids to position the phone at an angle from the book, after which the app will recognize the words, while the OCR permits the StorySign application to function with greater accuracy, says Huawei. AI is here to also power the speed at which pages from the book can load in the app. Now, in case you’ve downloaded the app, and you’re wondering on how to use it, all you have to do is open the app, and select a book from the StorySign library. Then you have to hold the phone up to the words on the page, and Star will sign the story as the printed words are highlighted, which will basically allow kids to learn at their own pace, with your help, of course. In addition to Google’s Play Store, this app is also available to download from the Huawei AppGallery, and is available in 10 markets at the moment, across Western Europe. The StorySign app has been rated 38 times at the time of writing this article, and it is currently holding a 4.9-star rating in the Play Store, as it seems like people really like it thus far. If you would like to check out the look of this app before you download it and try it out, visit the gallery down below.
Background: Huawei says that it worked with the European Union of the Deaf, and its local charities across Western Europe. On top of that, the company worked with Penguin, its publishing partner, and the animation specialist Aardman, in order to make the app more appealing to kids. Interesting fact, Aardman Animations actually created Wallace and Gromit, in case you were wondering who’s behind the design of most of the app, and Star, the avatar used in the StorySign application.
Impact: There are some apps for deaf people out there, but if you have a kid who is deaf and needs to learn to read, or perhaps you know someone older who did not learn to read just yet, this is a great app to help with the procedure. More apps like this one certainly can’t hurt, as there are quite a few people who are having such disability and difficulties because of it, so if an app can help along the way, it’s definitely worth releasing.